Using “Zoom” for group music sessions

Necessity is the mother of invention. As we are all grounded for the short term we are all finding ways to make our lives as normal as possible. Using a tool like “zoom” for meeting up with frends and having a music session is just one of the new tricks the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club, and other groups I am a member of, are exploring.

Zoom, like a lot of conferencing systems is quite clever and automatically cuts out background noise and anything it considers not to be the human voice. However this is not very helpful when playing your musical. instrument.

I found a blog post and a Youtube tutorial on how to make Zoom work with musical instrument.

Here is a link to a post that say very much the same: Best Zoom Meeting Settings for Remote Music Lessons

Both suggest using “origional sounds”. Sadly this is only available if you are using Windows PC. They also suggest using a external microphone. I purchased an external one for my PC from Amazon for £25. Its a Amazon “basic” product and works well.

If you are using a tablet then you will not be able to use “origional Sound” but you will benefit from using an external microphone.

Unfortunatly you cannot all play together, only one person can talk or play at a time, Zoom, like all the others, is “simplex” in its voice capability. So the way to manage this is to have the organiser of the conference “mute” everyone, then “unmute” the person who is going to lead the tune or song and off we go. Eveyone can hear the soloist and play or sing along. We found it really great to try out some harmonies or try and jam along and not having to worry about people hearing your terrible mistakes!


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